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Boko Haram: Army shuns Col Suleiman who arrested 377 terrorists, prevented Presidential Villa attack

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The Nigerian Army is yet to reinstate Colonel Auwal Suleiman despite a court ruling.

The sharpshooter coordinated the arrest of no fewer than 377 Boko Haram terrorists in 2009.

Suleiman is the brain behind the establishment of Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), the body of volunteers fighting terrorists alongside the government forces.

He was among 38 Army officers compulsorily retired by the Army in June 2016 without a query or indictment for any offence.

DAILY POST published the full list of the ousted personnel in June 2020.

Suleiman was on a strategic military posting as Defence Attaché in the Chad Republic when he got a text message of his retirement.

In February 2020, Justice Sanusi Kado of the National Industrial Court in Abuja ordered the Army Council to reinstate him.

The judge rejected the council’s explanation that Suleiman was retired due to “overstay of 18 years in service”.

Justice Kado told the Army there was no evidence to support the claim or justify the dismissal.

An officer told PRNigeria that Suleiman proposed the use of hunters and vigilantes to battle Boko Haram, an initiative that birthed the famous CJTF in Borno State.

“He led a joint intelligence task force comprising other security agencies in uncovering camps of the Boko Haram in the North.

“His prowess as a spy played a major role in discovering a Boko Haram cell within the Presidential Villa before the terrorists struck. The culprits were rounded up.

“The mastermind of the planned attack was a police sergeant identified as Babagana. He was arrested”, the source disclosed.

Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, Director Army Public Relations did not take phone calls as at press time.

Suleiman led successful raids against Boko Haram, arrested/eliminated several commanders and fighters.

The Nigerian military and intelligence services banked on his bravery and experience in counter-terrorism operations.

Suleiman was Deputy Chief of Operations to the United Nations Mission in Darfur in 2011, and Deputy Defence Adviser to the Nigerian Embassy in Washington and 2012.

Suleman was also key to the arrest and prosecution of Boko Haram pioneer spokesman Umar Sanda Konduga, a Chadian arms supplier Bana Fannaye, among others.

During deployment to the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC) in Jaji as directing staff, he drafted to help track Adam Kambar, a terrorist the United States declared wanted.

Suleiman faced operational risks and ambushes, including an attack where insurgents shot his left leg.

He escaped assassination attempts in Bauchi and Borno. On at least two occasions, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) terrorists buried on routes went off, injuring troops.

Suleiman, a member of NDA 42 Regular Combatant Course, was commissioned in September 1995 and promoted to a Colonel on August 17, 2013.

The gallant officer won the Chief of Army Staff Commendation Award and received a national honour – Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR).

 

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